A 6th grade phone or not? “Of course he needs one! »… « No phone for 15 years! »

It’s a question every parent of a 6th grader asks themselves: should they get their first cell phone? And even though this little item is banned in college! A purchase that many parents like to make because they want to be able to reach their child outside of school. As Nathalie, who responded to our call for witnesses, attests: “I gave my son an old cell phone so he could tell me every time he arrived at college and every time he left to have a good day without having to worry .”. It is also to be sure that Gwenaëlle has invested in a laptop computer for her son: “We live in the country, he has to take the bus. If he finishes earlier or in case of a problem, he can contact us so we can pick him up. »

For Christophe, no debate, his son will have this object in his pocket at the start of the school year: “Of course he must have a laptop! You have to keep up with the times and stop looking for problems where there are none, ” he said. Teenagers also want to be equipped because they want to be able to communicate with their friends in ways other than through their parents’ laptops. This is the case with Sara’s daughter: “She’s been asking me for a phone for two years now, because some kids have them very early. This year she wants my old smartphone.” Olivier also decided to make this purchase to please his child: “Although we would have preferred to wait longer, it is an object that marks the integration of the group (wrong?)”.

“The phone will only be used for his travels”

However, there is no question of letting their young teenager become addicted or surf any site. Many parents have therefore set some rules and set security measures, like Sara: “I installed parental controls, which I manage with my smartphone. It allows me to control the time she spends on her phone and the apps she uses. She knows that there are rules, with the risk of not being able to use her phone anymore, that social networks are prohibited and that I can look at her phone at any time (contacts, messages). Gwenaëlle also took the lead: “We downloaded the Family Link application to control usage and limit its time”. Fanny has chosen a limited plan, at 2 euros per month: “We control what he sees and the time is blocked for 1 hour a day, the phone is locked from 8.30 pm to 7 am. »

To limit all risks for her son, Maud chose a very simple phone: “He has no access to the Internet, nor to any application or social network. Not even for photos. It’s just a phone to call. Which is more than enough for his age. “Noémie, she decided that the mobile phone would not be available to her child 24 hours a day: “The phone will only be used for his travels, otherwise he will be taken back. »

“It makes them addicted to a drug”

Conversely, the telephone is forbidden in some families for young university students. As proof: the Facebook group “Parents unite against smartphones before the age of 15” has just passed 15,000 members. The latter want to limit the exposure of their youngest teenagers to screens and postpone as much as possible the moment when they climb feverishly. Like Sandrine: “No phone for 15 years! “, she says. This is the choice Alice made for her daughter: “We are not against screens, but against the sterility of certain screens. She has a landline available, our mobile phones if necessary to contact her friends. But also a family computer that she can navigate in the living room. We believe that the cell phone is physically isolating, it takes time to end up not sharing much… And that there is an age for everything. This other reader of 20 minutes is even more negative: “Smartphones are not good for children and teenagers. It’s like buying them a pack of cigarettes a day, it makes them addicted to a drug and creates tension in the family. »

Marilyne also poured out hope for her son Théo, who is returning to college: “I told him he would wait like his older brother who had him enter the 4th grade. I think they are already enough ahead screens without adding one more. If needed, they know they can go into school life and ask to call me.” Catherine has found an alternative for her daughter: “I bought her a connected watch because she will take the city bus. With the option to call only saved numbers, a GPS tracker and an SOS button in case of emergency. »

Dealing With Criticism… A Habit For Parents Who Deny

Yet parents who decide not to offer their little schoolboy a phone are sometimes misunderstood by those around them. As Alice says: “A lot of people around us think we’ve been, sometimes laughing. “Sunny also has to justify herself every time: “The harassment worries me and I don’t think my daughter is mature enough to understand everything , what the internet includes… But it’s hard to defend one’s opinion against people who tell my daughter that ‘she will be corny and it will be a shame not to have a phone… But I persevere! »

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